Why People Around the World Loved Kobe Bryant So Much
The helicopter crash was probably the worst news heard at the beginning of 2020, and the death of Kobe Bryant was felt by the whole world. As we were celebrating the Lunar New Year, we received this unexpected grievous news. Millions of fans and non-fans mourn the death of Kobe Bryant and eight other people killed in a helicopter crash Sunday. Some people cried, some people didn't want to talk, some people couldn't believe it, and more people were trying to convince themselves to accept the truth. A coverage New York Times (2020) even states, "An icon like Kobe, dying like this? Pro basketball’s history books are blank". But why does Kobe Bryant's death mean so much to us? Why did people including fans and non-fans love Kobe Bryant so much?
Probably, to most people, Kobe was more than a great NBA basketball player and was one of the first names on people's minds for an heir to Michael Jordan. (Healy, 2020) The following shares several reasons why Kobe was loved so much.
Firstly, his accomplishments are beyond calculations. Apart from his five NBA championships, an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), two-time NBA Finals MVP winner, his extraordinary influence to young people who dreamed of being a basketball player seems to ripple out from the center and touch everywhere. Every little young boy hung up Kobe's posters onto their bedrooms' walls and dreamed of being a great basketball player like Kobe. Kobe's death not only was heartbreaking news but dug a big hole in their dreams.
He was also a global icon even in Asia. “Kobe was one of the first American NBA players who was 'big in China', to the point that when the Redeem Team traveled to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008 (his MVP year), the Americans had support from the locals as well as the traveling stars and stripes brigade.” (ABC News, 2020) While other basketball players were anonymous around the world, Kobe had already made the world his own and the world loved him for it.
Mamba Mentality was a play on Bryant’s own nickname, “The Black Mamba,” or just “Mamba.”, but later he decided to do something unusual. He created an alter-ego: “The Black Mamba”. This name is even more than a name for fans. It represents "a spirit of self-confidence and never giving up" and also means "just trying to get better every day". He shared his Mamba mentality for those who were perplexed in one's life and this philosophy tells people, "you don’t have to be a superstar to actualize it in your own life". It makes people keep going and do every little change every day to better their own lives.
However, Kobe still made mistakes. Some people said that he had no NBA friends because his ultra-competitive nature simply would not allow it. He was said uncoachable. Sometimes he shot pool. He also faced family and marriage issues before. However, Kobe's these mistakes made him more humane. He was more of a great basketball player, but he was also a human. We ALL make mistakes and do things we later regret. Kobe showed the world his great spirit but faded away like a real human, and we will all remember him.
"Mamba out, but Mamba Mentality never fades".